Tamil Nadu: Dalits Say CB-CID Officers Pressurising Them To Confess To Mixing Human Feces In Vengaivayal Water Tank; Submit Petition To Collector To Ensure Fair Probe
Representatives of the Dalit community have urged the district collector to identify the real culprits behind the mixing of faeces in an overhead water tank in Vengaivayal village in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. They also sought the intervention of the Chief Minister.
In the petition, they said that the CB-CID officers who are probing the case called some of them to an office in Tiruchirapalli on 31 January and forced them to confess that one of them had committed the crime. When they refused, the CB-CID officers hurled abuses at them.
The petition names eight persons who were threatened by the CB-CID officers. It adds that around 20 households are suffering from depression due to the continuous harassment by police.
Earlier some political parties and Dalit outfits had said that the police were offering Rs 2 lakh and a government job for those who accepted the crime.
The state CB-CID had commenced an investigation into the case three weeks back after the Vellanur police, who registered the case, could not identify the culprits.
In the last week of December 2022, five children of Vengaivayal village in fell sick. The doctor who treated them expressed doubts about the quality of the water. Meanwhile, villagers noticed a light yellow colour in the water.
When the separate overhead tank that serves the drinking water needs of the Arundatiyar community was checked, it was found that human excreta had been mixed in their water.
The CB-CID conducted an inquiry with as many as 92 members from three different communities, including Kallar and Mutharaiyar, residing at Eraiyur, Vengaivayal, Cauvery Nagar and Muttukadu villages. Among the 92 persons, eight persons were summoned again by the CB-CID.
Among those summoned included Chidambaram, the husband of local Panchayat union councillor Revathy, Shanmugam, the former overhead tank operator and Kasi Viswanthan, the current operator.
Earlier this month, a 'fact-finding' report by a group of Dalit activists alleged that the mixing of human excreta with drinking water in the overhead water tank that the Dalits used in the village may have been a fallout of an ongoing dispute between two AIADMK party functionaries in the area.
The 'fact-finding' team noted that a long-standing rivalry existed between Chidambaram, an AIADMK party functionary who belongs to the Kallar community and Muthiah, another party functionary who belongs to the Mutharaiyar community, which may have led to the incident. Padma, Muthiah's wife, is currently the president of the local Muthukadu Panchayat. She won the local elections held in 2019 by defeating a candidate fielded by Chidambaram.
The 'fact-finding' team suggested that either Chidambaram or Muthiah could have done this to tarnish the other.
Also Read: Human Faeces Found In Water Tank In Tamil Nadu: The Abominable Sin of Hindu Society
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